Leitmotif

Reason as the Leading Motive

“Import Workers or Export Jobs”

Posted by Jerry on January 10, 2006

Robert Murphy, an economist from the Austrian tradition, has written a very good article in defense of free trade and open markets that very neatly exposes the underlying tribal and primitive mentality gaining popular support in today’s global economic culture.

Critics of free-trade, immigration, and profit-driven businesses use terms like “outsourcing”, “predatory business tactics”, etc. to make their case for more and more restrictive socio-economic policies. Murphy correctly points out that these socialist policies wrongly divide the human endeavor of production and trade in to a “us versus them” scenario. The intellectual and technological advancement of China and India are perceived as a threat to the American economy. Immigrant workers are perceived as threatening the jobs that American workers are “entitled” to.

Murphy makes a very enlightening statement by pointing out that “Indeed, to ask whether it is fair to allow workers to seek a better life for themselves implies downright slavery—that they are “our” workers and can only be allowed to migrate with our permission.”

My own moral arguments for immigration rights rest upon Murphy’s statement that I implicitly accepted as the premise. Freedom of mobility is an implied requirement to secure the right to gain ownership of property, which consequently rests upon every human’s right to life and survival as they see fit.

I cannot recommend Murphy’s article highly enough.

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3 Responses to ““Import Workers or Export Jobs””

  1. innommable said

    Oh, now I wanna know more about Robert Murphy, Austrian economics, AND the work of Ludwig Von Mises…

  2. Ergo Sum said

    Why???

  3. innommable said

    Because I hardly know anything about economics and I’d like to learn more. It’s kinda like a social science, but more rigidly scientific.

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